Energy, the Environment and Everyday Life

Verdant green garden with decorative wooden gate

Thursday, April 7, 2022
4:30 p.m. PT




Check out this video to watch the Energy, the Environment and Everyday Life.

Transitioning to a Place-based Culture

Environmental Speaker Series

Brought to you by:
WWU College of the Environment
WWU College of Science & Engineering
WWU College of Fine & Performing Arts
WWU Alumni Association


As we enter the 2020s we are experiencing three massive simultaneous cultural crises: the intensifying effects of climate change, rapidly dwindling energy resources and the diminishing returns of our heedless economic growth. The rising costs of fuel and food are being accelerated by our destabilizing global climate and geopolitical constructs. As these crises converge, their impacts on our everyday lives will compound, ushering in social consequences the likes of which many Americans have not experienced in over three generations. A gloomy outlook indeed.

However with the right perspective, there exist hopeful and practical solutions which are as simple and as fun as riding a bike powered by potatoes grown in a neighborhood garden plot. Our Local Communities are a human-scale platform for change. Small groups of people define their own social norms and support each other throughout a cultural transition of this nature. One inspiring example is the Transition Movement which began with all of this in mind and has been activating and supporting communities around the world for over 15 years. This work simultaneously addresses these three driving forces with a hopeful and humane permaculture design process. Increasing biodiversity, building topsoil, sequestering carbon and fighting climate change are all empowering aspects of maintaining a small community garden plot. 

The goal for this presentation is to contextualize some of our largest cultural problems and present accessible and practical solutions for a lifelong pursuit of meaningful activism. And to inspire a small group of capable and engaged adults who are keen on creating a positive vision of the future.

More information about the speaker series is available here, and past Environmental Speaker Series recordings are available here.

We are excited that we will be live-streaming from a WWU classroom for the webinar for our off-campus audience. Due to the pandemic, only WWU students will be in-person for the presentation but we look forward to welcoming you all to class virtually.

Paul Kearsley

Paul Kearsley


Paul Kearsley is an experienced designer, educator and illustrator. In addition to his master planning work with Terra Phoenix Design LLC, Paul is a Senior Instructor in Western Washington University’s Design and Industrial Design programs, as well as a published illustrator. He has also taught Permaculture Design within the University, the wider Pacific Northwest and Internationally. He holds a B.S. in Industrial Design and an MA in Environmental Education. 

At home, he operates an 8-acre peri-urban homestead with his extended family. He fills his time working on the farm; adventuring and learning with his kids and niece and nephew; and drawing, drawing, drawing. His other passions include salvaging lumber, arranging flowers, foraging in the woods, repairing stuff and cooking for his friends and family.


Questions and Accommodations

Stefan Freelan

Stefan Freelan is the coordinator of the Environmental Speaker Series. Send email to or call (360) 650-2949 if you have any questions or comments.
There will be auto-captions available for this event.